Johnson Family Funeral Directors become drop-off point for donated hearing aids

The South Shields funeral company is one of many funeral homes accepting donated hearing aids as part of a brand-new initiative.

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A South Shields man has donated a hearing aid set after an initiative was launched to stop hearing aids going to landfill.

Hearing Aid Recycling (HAR) launched the initiative in partnership with the Dignity Funerals Group, who are calling on members of the public to donate their no longer needed hearing aids so that they can be repurposed for those in need around the world who do not have access to hearing services.

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HAR regularly sends upcycled pre-loved hearing aids donated by people in the UK, to various areas of the world, promoting sustainability in the audiology industry.

Their work has already made a difference, as they have sent aids and audiologists to train key workers in the likes of Pakistan, where a drop camp in a village near Rawalpindi helped over 100 people of various ages in only five days.

Johnson Family Funeral Directors based in South Shields, are one of the funeral companies on board with the initiative, placing drop off boxes in their funeral home, and have recently received a donation.

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Russell Gadbury, donated a set of hearing aids, dropping them off at Johnson Family Funeral Directors.

Russell’s kind donation will give the gift of hearing to those in need, with his hearing aid sets already being dispatched to HAR.

Jamie Hawke, Head of SW Region for Dignity Funerals Group, said: “Earlier last year I met an organisation at a conference called Hearing Aid Recycling (HAR).

“They collect old hearing aids and recycle them to provide people in less fortunate parts of the world the opportunity to hear.

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“It’s something that I felt was a great idea as I remember my granddad had a drawer full of these old devices that just went to waste.

“I’ve been working with Zoe, who is the founder of the scheme, on how we can support the effort across the region.

“I would like each of our branches to be a drop off point for the hearing aids.

“This is a great initiative.”

Russell Gadbury donated a set of hearing aids to Johnson Family Funeral Directors.Russell Gadbury donated a set of hearing aids to Johnson Family Funeral Directors.
Russell Gadbury donated a set of hearing aids to Johnson Family Funeral Directors.

Zoe Fawcett-Eustace, Co-Founder of the scheme said: “I feel incredibly passionate about Hearing Aid Recycling and am delighted that Dignity are supporting us.

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“I was profoundly deaf by 19 and had always been disheartened when I was advised to put my ‘older’ hearing aids in the bin following their replacement/upgrade. That is what inspired me to start HAR, in a world of scarce resources and much need, it’s terrible to waste life changing hearing aids.”